The LONG overdue next chapter of my series.
Chapter 3: Journey to a new home.
Ok as a reminder I am NOT a professional writer nor do I have a proofreader other than my spellchecker so there will most likely be errors. I am getting better though.
The next morning while I was having my breakfast a couple of the nurses brought in a small sized dresser. I had not really noticed until now that there had actually not been one in the first place. I had gotten so used to running around in nothing but the two diaper types they give me that I had not even thought of cloths. Now though my first thought is what did they give me. I walk over to the short four drawer dresser and open each one from top to bottom. T-shirts in the top one, shorts in the next, a supply of the thin daytime diaper I use and bottom had the thicker night time ones. I took them out and looked them over noticing they weren't the usual ones, and saw why. Both the thin and thick diapers were in a pullup style with little tape over flaps for my tail in the rear. Seems I would finally get a little dignity back being able to put them on myself even if I did have to wear them. I go back up to the top two drawers and pick out a set of shorts and t-shirt to wear. My first set of cloths since I woke in this new world. I noticed that all the colors were either a neutral or a pastel. None of those funny character prints you normally find on kids cloths. That at least made me feel a bit better. It wasn't long after that Mr Kinar
"I see they brought your cloths in already" he said as he sat back down next to my small table as he did before motioning me to sit.
"Yes" I typed out on my little device. "I had not even though about them till I was brought some. No one even made me aware that I had forgotten them until now."
"They felt it best to bring you back into our realm a bit slowly so as to not shock you with too much at once" he said as he opened two books sliding one over to me. It looked like one of those translator books you would see for different languages that had both the english, and terr as they called it as well as each ones definition right after.
For the next two months I fell back into a routine of four or five hours a day with language practice as well as typing on my new device. Soon enough he took the plastic cover off my keyboard and I saw that what I had been using the whole thing was just a template overlaying the real keys. English alphabet was replaced with the alpha numeric of the terr language. By now though he knew that I was able to understand it, and even stopped speaking in english unless I was having too much trouble. For the first time though since I had woken time was all but forgotten when we were working. I had always been the type that loved to work my mind, and this was providing me with an excellent exercise. While I still had the usual problems of having to ponder new words, or even look them up in the portable translator built into my typer all seemed to be going well enough that I felt I needed to learn more. I was soon shown the tv device that had never been turned on since I was in this room, and was directed in its use. It was not a tv though. It was in fact a sort of web based shopping portal. I was confused for a bit as to why they would be showing me this since I had no money. I was soon pleasantly informed though that the current government had actually set aside quite a large amount for me in an account. I was also told though that anything I chose had to be approved of first before I was allowed to have it since a great many things were still new to me and I could possibly get in trouble with some things.
Thinking for a moment I used the touch display to scroll threw the category choices and figured that at least books would be safe. First thing though I noticed that while they had a great many books they were all in electronic format. That prompted me to look at the different readers available. I soon settled on one that actually looked like a book closed, but opened to a dual screen display. Each side having the proper book page so that you actually felt as if you were reading a book. Selecting the reader AI went back to the available titles. While a great number of things interested me the first section I went threw was the history section. They had told me very little on how, and why the balance of power had shifted in the world, and I wanted to now more. Making my selection of several books I went looking at other things. Soon enough I ended up in personal care stuff. Having had long hair since I had woke, and having it even longer now I needed better ways to take care of it. They provided me a few basic things here, but having had long hair as a human before I had my own preferences. Hair ties, a better brush, and a small grooming kit soon were added to my list. Going threw the grooming items though soon reminded me about my claws, and knowing that normally canine claws kept growing and needed constant trimming I started looking for something to take care of that. Soon enough though I got frustrated and decided I needed some help. Saving my list for later I put my new shopping window in standby and went out of my room. Going to the elevator I went back down to the floor that I had first woke on. By now it was quite common for me to visit down here with the nurses. Soon enough I found Nitala at her terminal behind the desk.
"Looks like someone is having a hard day" she said with a grin.
I nodded and pulled up my usual rolling stool and sat beside her. "Yes I was given the chance to do a bit of shopping, but I can't find some of the things I need" I typed to her. It still seemed a little odd to hear that mechanical voice coming out of the choker like neck speaker.
"Oh? What were you looking for" she asked. I watched slightly amazed as she pulled up the same screen on her terminal that I had just been looking at on my own shopper tv.
I held up my paws and wiggled a claw at her "I need something to keep these trimmed" I said watching her moving threw the system.
"Hmm" she said thoughtfully as she too seemed to not be able to find what was needed. Though after about five more minutes of searching she got one of those quick looks of inspiration and went back to the sections list. When she chose the next one I didn't know if I should be shocked or surprised when she found just what I needed....in the PET section.
"Umm are you sure thats what I need" I asked a bit embarrassed now as I look down at my quite canine finger and toe claws.
"Well your needs are a bit unique in that area, and your claws are closer to a feral canine than a sentient one" she said looking at a couple of them in that area.
All I could do is sit there with that sort of stunned feeling once more being reminded of my uniqueness in this new world. I sighed finally and decided that it was just one more thing I would have to get used too, and pointed at one that looked fairly nice and not something that belonged in a common pet shop. She added it to my list that I was again surprised at having here as well. I guess that I should not be surprised though. They probably have them all networked in and they DID say that they would have to be approved so someone would see them. She looked threw my list, and with little options I didn't have on my screen put a check mark next to everything. After a little though though she looked back to the lists of catagorys.
"I think you need one more thing" she said going to the furniture section, then the children s department. Sorting threw she quickly brought up a section of vanity's with a mix of chairs and stools depending on the style.
I looked threw them and it occurred to me that she was right. While I had picked out a supply of personal care things I had never thought of where I was going to put them. We went threw the list and after sorting threw the ones that looked too childish I finally settled on a simple pastel blue one with two drawers on each side, and a small stool. Selecting it she added it to my list then checked it as before.
"There now all done" she said making a show of brushing off her paws. "Those should be here by this afternoon."
"Same day delivery" I asked a little surprised.
"Yup" she said with a grin. "Everything there is from local shops. You never actually got to the global ones."
That had me a little surprised seeing as they seemed to have a large selection of things, but then again it could be if all the shops were under one roof so to speak. I thanked her and decided that it was time to head back to my room. After lunch, and a small nap I did indeed have a knock at my door. The delivery people brought in my item boxes setting them all on my table except for one large one that I guess would be the vanity. They went about unboxing it and setting it up as I started opening the other boxes. My reader was a bit larger than I though it would be, but then again it was not meant for smaller sized people I guess. I was a bit amused to see that all the books I had ordered were already pre loaded too. Reading the instructions for the charging device I plugged it in to make sure it was full for later use. Only days later did I notice that the charge almost never seemed to run out. The next thing unboxed was my new grooming things. I kind of made a face at the pet clippers as I sat them down. Soon enough though everything was opened, and the boxes and packing materials were soon piled by the door. Then it was time to go check out the vanity. When I looked at it for the first time my mouth almost dropped in surprise. It was the wrong color. Instead of being pastel blue it was pastel pink. And here I thought they would have advanced better than to mix up an item.
"Pardon me" I said walking up to the person just as they were placing the matching stool "but you brought the wrong item. This was supposed to be in blue"
The delivery person hummed, and waled over to where he had laid down an e-pad and looked at something. "The order says pink here" he said even turning it around where I could see it.
He was right. It did say pink, but how could it have gotten mixed up. I stared at it while they took all the packing materials away and left then it hit me. I had not actually been the one to put this on the order. Nitala must have gotten it by mistake. I sighed a little then went over to loo at it closer. Ignoring the color for now making a not to tell her about the...mistake later I started opening drawers. I was actually surprised to find the top left and right ones already had things in them. They must have been included and I missed them in the description. Of course I didn't actually READ the descriptions much when I was picking one out. Looking threw the items I noticed they all seemed to have the same pink theme. Picking threw them I pulled out the items I knew I would not need like normal nail clippers and such. There was also a couple of silk looking strings in a package. Not knowing what they were I just moved them to the bottom drawer for now putting in my other personal things.
It was soon time for my afternoon language lessons by the time I was done, and Mr Kinar returned. The afternoon sessions were not as long as the morning ones. A couple hours at most. It was during this afternoon session though that we had another visitor. She never introduced herself choosing instead to sit on a stool that had been provided for her, and watched us. Other than taking a quick look at her as the lesson started though I didn't pay her much attention. She seemed to be someone important in both the smart way she dressed, and the air of authority that seemed to hang around. All during our afternoon lesson she just seemed to go between watching us, and reading threw a folder she had with her. Soon enough though my lesson was over with and Mr Kinar got up to leave saying his goodbys to both me and the lady who made no move to get up as he went out the door. She seemed to be content to just watch me not saying anything for now so I just sat there. Finally though she noticed that I was doing nothing but sitting at my little table though.
"Are you without something to do" she asked tilting her head a little looking at me over the folder in her paw.
"I'm sorry Miss, but it would have been rude of me to just wander off when I still have company" I reply.
She hmm's with a finger to the side of her muzzle in a thoughtful manor and for a moment seemed to lose that air of authority. After a few more moments though she seemed to regain it as she sat the folder down beside her and looked directly at me. "Come here child and stand in front of me" she said pointing at a spot on the floor.
I did as I was told still not sure what was going on moving from my seat to stand right in front of her with my paws to the side. She seemed to watch my every move. With a critical eye. It only hit me a few moments later that she called me a child, though I guess even with my mental maturity thats what I was in this world.
"Stand strait,....paws behind your back,....chin up" she told me. As I did each thing I was told she nodded a little before continuing. "I am Headmistress Conica of the North Canus school for girls. You will be in my charge until you either reach maturity, or find your place in our society." She takes a moment to pick up the folder again and looks it over before continuing. "I have agreed to house you at the school because of your special circumstances. Your maturity level being the main factor despite your current bodys age. It is because of that that I believe you can behave yourself, and in our care you will be able to learn to adapt to your new surroundings in peace and safety." She stands up, and my eyes follow her as she does before placing a paw on my shoulder. A bit of the softness returns for a few moments. " you have deliberately been held back from getting too comfortable here because you were to leave this place soon, and they didn't want you to get used to something like this. You will discover that outside places like this hospital the people have chosen to go back to a more natural way of life. Not so much technology."
She gives me one more pat on the shoulder before leaving as well. My thoughts a bit of a rush with this information. That prompted me to look into it even more, but now was not the time. I didn't want to learn everything right at the very beginning. I wanted to wait for this new world to surprise me. . Deciding that for now I would just wait to see what happened I turned my attention back to personal matters. I looked once more at that pink vanity, and made a little face before moving over to sit at it. Looking into the mirror I am once again confronted with that image of a frosty furred fox. Taking the brush I begin to brush out my long hair. Taking me a bit longer to get the tangles out since it had been a little neglected I finally got it tamed. Using an elastic tie I put it back into a low ponytail just like I used to wear before my little....nap
The next few days were a bit boring since I had no more visits from Mr Kinar. It seems his time was up, and I was left to myself to finish learning the rest. Though I have to say he gave me a very good start, and I would have little trouble with most conversations. The third day however things changed. Right after my lunch tray was picked up a luggage trunk was brought in, and I was told to pack my belongings. I did as I was told having been told too that I would be leaving right after breakfast tomorrow. Opening the trunk I see that they had already packed a supply of my thick and thin diapers adding to the ones I already had in the dresser. If I had it figured right both would last me several months. After packing in the cloths that I had been given, and everything out of my vanity except my brush, and my reader I sat back down and started thinking about the trip. Wondering how far away this new school was, and how we would get there. Soon enough though it was dinner time, then time for bed. Grabbing one of my night diapers from the trunk that I had forgotten to save I changed for bed. As an afterthought I also left out a day one, shirt, and shorts to wear since I had no idea what was going to happen tomorrow. Needless to say I got hardly no sleep that night.
Soon enough it was time to start the new day. Getting up a little early I changed cloths, and placed the dirty ones, and my brush in the trunk. Breakfast came and went, before I had another visit from the headmistress. She arrived wearing the same suit she wore last time I saw her and had a hooded cloak on. With her were two others who came in right after her taking my trunk. And with a little surprise on my part the vanity as well making their way out of the door quickly. She walked up to me and handed me a cloak similar to hers.
"You will need this for the weather outside as well as to discourage people from staring at your unusual....legs" she said the last a little uncomfortably as if she thought it would hurt my feelings
"Yes ma'am" I said taking the cloak from her. It was one of those that only hooked under the neck, and had a hood that covered most of the head. I noticed that it was well insulated on the inside even if it didn't seem thick, and I imagine the tight weave outside was probably rain proof too. One of my ears found a hole in the top, and after a bit of moving it around so did the other
"You will address me as either Headmistress or Madam" she said wagging a finger at me as I closed the cloak around me.
"Yes Madam" I corrected myself as she led me out the door. Grabbing my reader on the way out I held it under the cloak using my other paw to keep the cloak closed.
As I left there was quite a few people around that I had got to know since my time here. I got lots of hugs, and a few pats on the shoulder on my way out. As soon as that last door opened to the outside I got my first taste of the outdoors in almost a year. Taking a deep breath and letting my new canine nose sample everything I just stood there for a few moments. That is until a win gust tried to catch my cloak and blow it open. I meeped and opened my eyes as the headmistress was walking down the path. I quickly caught up with her as we rounded the corner. Thats when I got my first indication of what she meant by different levels of technology. There waiting for us was a fairly large horse and buggy. My belongings haven already been packed on the back of it and wrapped to protect them. As we neared the driver hopped down, and opened the door to the buggy offering his paw to the headmistress first. Then as I was about to get in myself I feel paws under my arms lifting me in. A bit surprised by this I looked at the headmistress a bit confused as he shut the door. I could feel the slight bounce as he hopped up onto the buggy seat outside and the jerk as we started moving.
With a slight smile that betrayed her business like air once more she leans over to pat my knee. You are now part of a higher society, and when your outside like this expect to be treated like you are royalty since all of the students at our school come from highly influential family's."
I could only nod as I thought about this. At least I know I wouldn't be treated as if I was some kind of freak here. I just had to get used to a level of care that I never thought I would see myself in in my old life.
"One more thing" she says getting my attention once more with that folder that she must have had in the buggy with her. "You will not be able to go by your old name. For one Mark is defiantly a boys name, and in a girls school it would not do, and two your starting a new life." she seems to think for a little bit as I watch her until she gets that...I got it...look. "We will call you Riku. Its a modern name that also happens to be universal between boys and girls."
Riku? Hmm....I liked it, and had to agree that her reasons were good ones "Yes Madam" I said with a smile before turning to look out the window of the buggy watching the scenery go by. I had to smile since it seemed my current future was going to be full of pleasant surprises.